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Last update: April, 2017.

  1. Best of Cinque Terre
  2. Villages and towns
  3. Nearby towns
  4. Portofino

Portofino

The fascinating little village of Portofino is one of the most beautiful places in Liguria, and it is also one of the most famous. It’s as if two worlds meet here: on one hand it’s an old fishermen’s village and a little port dotted with small boats that have seen their time, and on the other it is a fashionable seaside resort, where American film stars moor their luxurious yachts (and it is precisely for this reason that prices can be even twice as high here than in any other Ligurian town).

There is no train to Portofino. The nearest station is "Santa Margherita Ligure - Portofino" and you can get to Portofino from there with a 15-minute bus ride (the ticket costs 2 euro) or by taxi (35 euro). If you are staying in Rapallo, you can still reach Portofino by bus, but you will have to change in Santa Margherita Ligure. There are bus stops everywhere: at the station, on the seafront, but timetables are not always respected here! Due to the traffic and the narrow streets, buses can run quite a bit behind schedule. If you like, you can walk from Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo to get to Portofino. You just follow the footpath along the sea from the town center for about 5 km and in little more than an hour you will arrive at your destination.

Bird's eye view of the bay, Portofino, Italy

Places of interest in Portofino

Open this page from your mobile phone and you can start the navigator for any point of interest or monument described here.

1
Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta, seen from the gardens of Brown Castle, Portofino, Italy

This is the main square of Portofino, and the only one, and is set on the water. The piazza is tiny but is still an excellent ‘people watching’ place, besides being ideal for enjoying a seafood meal (remembering that any price you are accustomed to will be twice as much here).

2
The Brown Castle, Portofino, Italy

This is a castle - museum, an ancient fortress located in a dominant position on the coast overlooking the Gulf of Portofino. In the past, Castello Brown acted as a strategic observation point for checking on the village and its surroundings. There is a nice park with many footpaths near the castle. Entry to the park is open until 7 pm, while entry to the castle closes at 5-6 pm. Today the castle is used to host cultural exhibitions. You can also enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the village from here! The visit to the castle costs: 5 euro.

3

The Church of San Martino

Church of St. Martin, Portofino, Italy

A religious building in Romanesque style (XII century). During the Second World War the Church of San Martino was considerably damaged, but was subsequently rebuilt. Under the vaults of the church there are several works of art, in particular some ancient paintings by Ligurian artists and images of saints. The niches of the Church of San Martino also are adorned by wooden statues of rare beauty which depict Christ.

4

The Church of San Giorgio

Church of San Giorgio, Portofino, Italy

This church was built in honor of Saint Giorgio, the patron saint of Portofino, whose mortal remains are preserved in the church. It is a Romanesque style church, erected in the XII century, and is the most ancient element of the village. The church of San Giorgio is located on the hill, so tourists are attracted here not only by the beauty of the Church itself, but also by the panorama over the little village of Portofino which can be seen from here. It should not be missed by those who love photography! While you’re there, you can also visit the old cemetery that is located behind the church.

5

The statue of “Christ of the Deep” in San Fruttuoso

San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy

This is the most hidden attraction of Portofino and its surroundings. Not everyone can see it, because this statue is located at the bottom of the sea in the bay of San Fruttuoso, at a depth of 15 meters. When the sea is calm and limpid, and the bay is lit by the rays of the sun, you can see the reflections of the bronze Christ of the Deep, 2.5 meters high, through the blue water. This monument, which is dedicated to the memory of divers, was placed here in 1954 but still today is a fundamental stop for tourists and it can be seen both from land and the bottom of the sea.

Do you want to go diving? Read more information at this dedicated site: http://portofinodivers.com/

If you arrive early in the morning you can visit the surroundings of Portofino in a day, including its monuments and the nearby towns of Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure. But if you want to enjoy the Mediterranean flora for a while, you should stop in Portofino for a few days.

Map of the places to visit and the footpaths of Portofino

Pedestrian routes near Portofino

The territory of the National Park, with its rocky coastline and rare bays, starts south of Portofino. The park is literally covered with footpaths and they are all well marked. In addition to the routes indicated below, we advise you to walk up to the lighthouse that is located close to the village: apart from the lighthouse, the scenery alone along the road leading to it makes the walk worthwhile. The trail is marked on the map.

Portofino – San Fruttuoso

The trail to the San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy
1 h 30 min.
4.5 km (2.8 mi.)
270 m (886 ft)
249 m (817 ft)
500-560 kcal*
Medium*

The current condition of the route: Open.

This is the most widely known trail and leads from the center of Portofino to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. The Abbey is set in a bay, surrounded by rocks, near the pebble beach of San Fruttuoso. The Abbey building is supported by low arches, and you will pass beneath them as you go toward the sea. There is a view point not far from the Abbey. You can return to Portofino by boat (9 euro), otherwise read the description of the next trail.

San Fruttuoso - Camogli

The trail to the San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy
2 h 30 min.
6.45 km (4 mi.)
550 m (1805 ft)
464 m (1523 ft)
800-900 kcal*
Medium High*

The current condition of the route: Open.

If you continue along the previous trail, you can reach Camogli on foot! On the other hand, if you don’t like the idea of walking there, you can return to Portofino or alternatively you can take a boat to Camogli.

Portofino – Santa Margherita Ligure

The view of the village from the trail to San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy
1 h 20 min.
5.4 km (3.4 mi.)
40 m (132 ft)
40 m (132 ft)
400-450 kcal*
Very easy*

The current condition of the route: Open.

It takes about an hour to walk this route. Instead of waiting for the bus that will be crowded with tourists, for just a short ride of 15 minutes, it’s better to walk along the seafront. The most picturesque scenery is not far from Portofino.

* Kcal - more information on the consumption of calories and the complexity of the various trails can be found in the section “Walking trails”.

Recommended hotels in Portofino

In up-market Portofino, a room in a hotel is expensive. Even the neighboring town of Santa Margherita Ligure is not cheap. Evaluate all the hotels or consider our advice.

Belmond Hotel Splendido, Italy
Top 5
Romantic

Belmond Hotel Splendido

Price: high.
This hotel complex is the most expensive and the most luxurious in Liguria. It offers spacious and richly decorated rooms. Belmond is comprised of two buildings, one of which is near the port of Portofino; the other is close to the Piazzetta. The hotel also has a wellness center and an outdoor heated swimming pool.
More information

Hotel Piccolo Portofino, Italy
Top 5
Romantic
Discount!

Hotel Piccolo Portofino

Price: medium.
This hotel with 23 rooms is located on a wooded hillside, in an historic villa with terraces and views along the Ligurian Riviera. Hotel Piccolo Portofino has its own private pebble beach, with a cafe on the beach, and a little further away you will find numerous restaurants and luxury boutiques.
More information

Hotel Italia e Lido Rapallo, Italy
Romantic

Hotel Italia e Lido Rapallo

Price: affordable.
The Italia e Lido hotel is located on the seafront of Rapallo opposite the medieval castle and has a beautiful view of the gulf of Portofino. It offers 50 rooms, a private beach, the “Grande Italia” restaurant with terrace and view to the sea and 8 parking spaces. A bus connects Rapallo and Portofino.
More information

On this page you can read visitor comments on all the hotels and compare them. In addition, you should consult:
Low-cost hotels in Portofino.
Romantic hotels in Portofino.
Luxury hotels in Portofino.
Use a filter to search for a hotel in Portofino.

Parking in Portofino

It is difficult to get around by car in this area, so going by car to Portofino is not recommended. The one and only parking garage costs 6 euro per hour and even in winter it is difficult to find a place. Riding a motorbike is an exception. In Rapallo (the nearest large town) there are several car parks, but if you want to find a parking place in summer or on public holidays, you will need to arrive early in the morning. Parking areas in Rapallo are marked on the map.

All parking areas are marked on the map above.
Address: piazza 4 Novembre, Rapallo. Paid parking 1.50 euro per hour. Maximum 10 euro per day. Night parking from 8 pm to 8 am: 3 euro.
Address: via Del Milite Ignoto, Rapallo. Paid parking 1.50 euro per hour. Maximum 10 euro per day. Night parking from 8 pm to 8 am: 3 euro.
Address: piazza delle Nazioni, Rapallo. Paid parking 1.50 euro per hour. Maximum 10 euro per day. Night parking from 8 pm to 8 am: 3 euro.
Address: via Fratelli Betti, 18, Rapallo. Free, 24h, just a few places. No parking allowed on the third Friday of the month between 6 am and 9.30 am.
Address: along the road to Portofino. Free, space available only in the early morning out of season.
Address: via del Fondaco, 1, Portofino. 6 euro per hour.

More photos of Portofino

Bay seen from the Brown Castle, Portofino, Italy
Bay seen from the Brown Castle
View from Brown Castle, Portofino, Italy
View from Brown Castle
The view from the Church of San Giorgio, Portofino, Italy
The view from the Church of San Giorgio
The trail to the San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy
The trail to the San Fruttuoso Abbey
San Fruttuoso Abbey, Portofino, Italy
San Fruttuoso Abbey
Boat in San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Italy
Boat in San Fruttuoso
Cemetery, Portofino, Italy
Cemetery
Statue of the rhinoceros, symbol of the town, Portofino, Italy
Statue of the rhinoceros, symbol of the town

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